THE NETHERLANDS, Geleen. Driven by a shared vision of sustainability and strong collaboration, DSM, SABIC, Cepsa, Fibrant, and Viscofan have together created a multi-barrier casing for meat products made via advanced recycling of post-consumer plastics.
The transition towards recycled-based multi-layer films enables the packaging industry to adopt a more sustainable solution without compromising on functional performance. The development of this packaging material underlines a strong commitment to enabling a circular economy by working together with partners throughout the value chain, and addresses the increasing consumer, societal and regulatory demand for more sustainable multi-layer barrier casing solutions.
Produced by Viscofan, the newly developed sustainable casing consists of several layers of different polymers. DSM Engineering Materials supplies the high-performance certified circular polyamide (PA) Akulon CRC-MB, and Sabic supplies the high-performance certified circular polyethylene (PE). Both products are based on used and post-consumer plastics which would otherwise be discarded as landfill or lost to incineration. Using advanced recycling, the used plastic is converted into new feedstock, which then enters the production chain to deliver new virgin-quality materials.
The high-performance certified circular polyamide Akulon CRC-MB is produced through a strong value chain collaboration involving a range of partners applying a mass-balancing approach. Firstly, Sabic produces certified circular benzene, based on materials produced via feedstock recycling of mixed-used plastics, which is used by Cepsa to make certified circular phenol. Fibrant then uses the phenol to produce certified circular caprolactam EcoLactam, which is provided to DSM to produce its certified circular polyamide. Finally, Viscofan combines the certified circular polyethylene and polyamide to produce the multi-barrier film used to create casings for a variety of meat products.
All of the advanced recycled materials within the value chain will have the globally recognized ISCC Plus certification and will not require re-qualification.
Multi-layer barrier films inherently offer strong sustainability advantages by helping to reduce preventable food waste – which accounts for 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions – and extending the shelf-life of food products. What’s more, using post-consumer plastics as a feedstock mitigates the depletion of natural resources, reduces the accumulation of plastic waste and improves the environmental footprint.